7 traits of a wonderful nurse

The last two stories were about bad habits in nursing (part 1, part 2). There sure were a lot! Let’s now talk about the positive habits and traits that make nursing the most respected profession in the world!

1. Takes Nursing Seriously. Good nurses…give a crap! They care that the work they do is genuine and done well. They care about the patient’s perspective and ‘customer service.’

They make sure mistakes aren’t glossed over, inaccuracies are corrected, and things that feel wrong – are investigated.

2. No Loose Ends. Good nurses try their best not to leave loose ends. It’s impossible not to miss something once in a while, but complete charting, following up on complaints and issues, and being organized and disciplined enough to remember all the little tasks that come up is a sign of great nursing.

3. Educates Freely. Awesome nurses explain things! To patients, to people they delegate to, to other nurses – they understand the importance of communication and full understanding for all parties involved.

Without it, there’s always bound to be mishaps and mistakes that could have easily been prevented with some foreknowledge. Nurses, we got some esplainin’ to do!

4. Willing to Help. Nobody nurses in a vacuum. Helpful nurses are team players, and no matter where you work, you’re working on a team!

Not only are helpful nurses a pleasure to work with, they’re more competent – we often learn the most by sharing tips and techniques with other nurses.

5. A Good Listener. Not only do great nurses ask questions, they stick around to listen to the answers! Great nurses know their limitations – and aren’t “know-it-alls.” They give people the benefit of the doubt, and take new knowledge and education seriously.

The best nurses go with the flow – not stick in the mud!

6. A Good Investigator. Nursing is not a rinse-and-repeat job. Every day you come in, new problems present in different ways, new people present with different stories, and new situations surprise you!

A nurse is like an investigator, delving into the “why,” “how,” and “what were you thinking!?” of every situation!

7. Real, but tactful. Best of all, nurses should be honest and straightforward. Great nurses aren’t afraid to hold back what people need to hear – yet tactful enough to do it in a professional manner.

This is a nursing trait that I feel we’re most proud of – nurses will tell it like it is!

Kevin is President of Brilliant Nurse, a nursing and NCLEX review company. Brilliant Nurse is also unfolding a course offering for foreign nurses who want to improve their English for the NCLEX.


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